A Momcation Series: Part 2 – Staycation Near the DMV

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This is the second article in a three-part series highlighting three different types of staycation or vacation destinations for “momcations.” Co-authored by Caroline Quat and Stephanie Shipman.

If you want to venture a bit further than a staycation, check out these three cities below. They’re a short drive away, but you’ll still feel like you got away for your momcation.

staycation
Part of downtown Annapolis, one of our suggestions for a nearby momcation.

1. Richmond

Richmond is a great place for a staycation that’s far enough away from the DC area where you feel like you’ve gone much further. In the past few years it’s become a popular weekend destination. And it’s easy to see why! There is a lot to do, see, and eat. Plenty of outdoor activities, cool coffee shops and breweries, and funky places to stay. Richmond has made a name for itself, and one of the best parts is there’s a Richmond Mom Collective who can give you plenty of other suggestions beyond the suggestions below.

Places to stay:

  • Graduate Richmond: In Downtown Richmond near VCU, this boutique hotel has the vibe of its local college. It has a rooftop pool (and bar) available in the summer months, and it’s a fun and comfortable place to stay.

  • The Jefferson: A super famous hotel in the city, this is a luxury hotel that is worth it, especially for a momcation!

  • Quirk Richmond: This artsy hotel is a favorite for so many people. It’s very Instagram-worthy and has a great bar.

Where to Eat and Drink:

  • Richmond Beer Trail: If you’re a beer lover, you’ll love Richmond. There are so many breweries, all with different vibes and beer, and visiting some of the stops on the trail is a great way to spend an afternoon.

  • Afternoon Tea or Champagne Sunday Brunch at the Jefferson: Either one of these experiences is a fun way to treat yourself while also getting some delicious food. Both are well known in the city, so try to make reservations early!

  • Take a food tour: The Richmond food scene has taken off in the past few years, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Try a food tour instead of trying to narrow it down to just a few places – it’s a great way to taste all that Richmond has to offer!

Things to do:

  • Riverfront Canal Walk: This is a 1.25 mile stretch with canal cruises, biking and walking paths, coffee shops and restaurants, and more. Spending some time walking down here will really help you see some of the best of Richmond.

  • Belle Isle Park: If you love outdoor activities, Belle Isle has got it all. Hiking, biking, rock climbing, you name it.

  • The Fan District: This area of Richmond is full of colorful houses and is a beautiful neighborhood. Grab an iced coffee or a snack and just wander around for a leisurely afternoon.

2. Middleburg

Just a 45-minute drive from DC proper, Middleburg is another close, but not too close, location for a momcation. It’s super cute and quaint, and it definitely has that small town charm that will make for a wonderful—and quiet—break. It’s right in the middle of Virginia wine country if you’re looking to have a glass (or two!).

Places to stay:

  • Goodstone Inn and Restaurant: A short drive from downtown Middleburg, Goodstone will help you relax. First class food on property as well, you might not want to leave at all. Treat yourself to The Conservatory for a fine dining experince.

  • The Salamander: Definitely stay here if you’re looking for some luxury on your momcation. There’s a spa, plenty of dining options, and endless activities on the resort for you. Downtown Middleburg is also walkable, a huge plus!

  • AirBnB: There are lots of adorable rentals in and near Middleburg. If you’re looking to relax in your own space with a group, AirBnB is the way to go.

Where to Eat and Drink:

  • Common Grounds: The local coffee shop in downtown is a perfect spot for a morning cup of coffee. It has outdoor space so you can sit and drink your coffee as slowly as you need to.

  • Red Fox Inn and Tavern: This restaurant has some history, in addition to food and drink, so make sure to make it a stop on your visit.

  • Red Horse Tavern: This tavern has a little bit of everything, but try the burger. They also play live music later in the evenings.

Things to do:

  • Visit one of the many wineries: There are lots to choose from, so why not make an afternoon of it by getting a bus/car so you don’t even have to think about driving.

  • Stroll leisurely in downtown: There are a lot of boutiques to pop into. You’ll be able to find a little something for everyone, including yourself.

  • Visit the National Sporting Library and Museum: Middleburg is horse and hunt country, so browse the museum to learn about it’s rich history.

3. Annapolis

Travel about an hour west from DC to visit Annapolis, a historic city with a beautiful waterfront and walkable downtown. It’s so historic that many of its roads downtown are smaller and cobble-stone, and parking can be a little difficult to find. If you make this your momcation destination, try to carpool!

Places to stay:

  • Annapolis Waterfront Hotel: This is the only hotel on the waterfront in Annapolis, and even offers Schooner Woodwind Sailing Cruises to its guests.
  • The Historic Inns of Annapolis: Located in three different Victorian buildings in downtown Annapolis – the Maryland Inn, the Governor Calvert House, and the Robert Johnson House – you can easily walk around downtown or take a free shuttle elsewhere in Annapolis.

  • Gibson’s Inn of Annapolis: For a smaller mom group or a different vibe, stay at a bed and breakfast. Stay in one of three homes that are a stone’s throw from the water, but also walkable downtown.

Where to Eat and Drink:

  • Iron Rooster: The casual eatery has breakfast all day, along with burgers, salads, fried chicken and cocktails. Come here to start your day with good food and drinks!

  • Market House: From coffee and empanadas to oysters, homemade soups and crab dip, this waterfront market has indoor and outdoor seating. Peruse its offerings and grab a table outside for a view of the water.

  • Osteria 177: This is a top-notch Italian restaurant with an extensive wine list, and sauces so good, they’re sold in jars to go, too.

Things to do:

Stay tuned for part 3 of our series: the best out of state locations for a momcation!

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